Don't Call it a Showdown
Bruce Litton not looking at Top Fuel points chase as a two-driver battle
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 31, 2008) -- With four events remaining on the 2008 schedule and just two points separating Top Fuel points leader Bruce Litton from upstart rookie driver Spencer Massey, one might be tempted to make a big deal of the tight points chase heading into the Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park.
Bruce Litton, who leads Massey 499 points to 497 points, will not make that mistake. Litton, a Top Fuel veteran of 20 years, knows how quickly things can change. He also knows, considering the talent level of the drivers in the top five of IHRA's points standings, it would be foolish to count anyone out.
"Spencer and I are neck and neck, but look right behind us. Bobby Lagana is right there, Mike Strasburg is in the hunt and Terry McMillen, coming off a win in Grand Bend, has some momentum," Litton said. "Heck, even Kevin Jones, who is in sixth place right now, has every opportunity to make some noise before all is said and done. I can't worry about Spencer, can't worry about Bobby, can't worry about anybody else. I have to worry about my race car, my race team and concentrate on qualifying and going rounds. If I do my job the points race will take care of itself."
Litton has been to three final rounds in six events this season. His only win, however, came when he knocked off Scott Palmer in the final round of the Motor City Nationals in Milan, Michigan. Aug. 1-3 he will be on the other side of Michigan, in Martin, hoping to duplicate that success. Litton will be the defending champion at the Northern Nationals. Last season he defeated J.R. Todd in an emotional final at US 131 Motorsports Park. Todd started his Top Fuel career driving for Litton.
"Last year was very special for me," Litton said. "I have known J.R. for a long time and words cannot describe how proud I am of what he's accomplished in this sport. Going up against him in the final last year was bittersweet, I always want to win but at the same time I always root for J.R. It meant a lot to me that I was able to go up against him in the final round of a national event."
After his win over Todd, Litton went on a tear the rest of the season...culminating in Rockingham where he clinched the 2007 world championship at the IHRA World Finals. He had to chase down T.J. Zizzo to clinch the title last season and expects the points chase to be equally as tight down the stretch this season.
"Only 128 points separate the #5 guy (McMillen) from me, so every round the rest of the way will be huge," he said. "And with the five Last Man Standing bonus points there Friday and Saturday nights at these events every qualifying pass is critical as well. Think about it, we have four races left...that's 40 total Last Man Standing bonus points up for grabs. That could be the difference between winning a championship and finishing in fourth or fifth place. That's a lot of pressure every time you stage the car."
Litton wanted to thank Lucas Oil, United Trailer and Autolite for their support.
"I get such great support from these companies," Litton said. "I could not do this without them in my corner. I'm truly blessed to have such strong support from these companies, who have made incredible commitments to the sport of drag racing."